Tuesday, October 23 , 2018, 6:30 pm | Partly Cloudy 66º

 
 
 
Your Health
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Channel Islands YMCAs Honoring Local Soldiers with Free Use on Veterans Day

The organization's support of military servicemen and woman spans 150 years

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. At the Channel Islands YMCAs, on Veterans Day, each branch will open its doors for free to all military personnel as a small token of appreciation for their dedication to the country.

For more than 150 years, the YMCA has had a deep history of supporting and recognizing military service men and women for their service to the country. Dating as far back as 1861, President Abraham Lincoln led to the recruitment of 5,000 Y volunteers who served as surgeons, nurses and chaplains during the Civil War. Throughout World War I, the Y provided welfare services for the military with more than 5,000 women serving the Y in the United States and France. By war’s end, the Y, through the United War Work Council, was operating 1,500 canteens in the United States and France; had set up 4,000 Y huts for recreation and religious services; and raised more than $235 million ($4.3 billion today) for relief work.

The Y’s dedication continued during World War II, when the Y, along with five other national voluntary organizations, founded the United Service Organizations (USO).

Today, the Y continues to dedicate its service to help soldiers and their families. Together, the Armed Services YMCA and Y-USA partner with the Department of Defense to support the Military Outreach Initiative, which funds free memberships and child-care support for families facing the hardship of military deployment.

The Outreach Initiative addresses the needs of families of eligible military personnel, such as families of deployed Guard and Reserve and those active duty personnel who live far from a military installation and require access to child development, family strengthening, and health and well-being programming and support services.

The YMCA, its staff, board members and volunteers would like to thank all of the servicemen and women who have dedicated their lives to the country and created a safe place for citizens to live.

For more information about the Military Outreach Initiative, click here or contact a local YMCA for details.

» Camarillo Family YMCA, 3111 Village at the Park Drive, 805.484.0423

» Lompoc Family YMCA, 201 W. College Ave., 805.736.3483

» Montecito Family YMCA, 591 Santa Rosa Lane, 805.969.3288

» Santa Barbara Family YMCA, 36 Hitchcock Way, 805.687.7727

» Stuart C. Gildred YMCA, 900 N. Refugio Road in Santa Ynez, 805.686.2037

» Ventura Family YMCA, 3760 Telegraph Road, 805.642.2131

— Lynette Ferrari is the Activate America coordinator for the Channel Islands YMCA.

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